This week we’re celebrating our new book, But Can I Start a Start a Sentence with “But”?, a selection of our favorite questions and answers from The Chicago Manual of Style Online’s monthly Q&A.
This week at Shop Talk we’re thrilled to announce two new books from the University of Chicago Press guaranteed to inform and entertain writers, editors, and anyone else who works with words.
Should You Attend an Editing Conference? Attending a conference is a major expense. In addition to travel and hotel costs, registration is sometimes hundreds of dollars, and all that dining out and schmoozing at the bar adds up as well. If you’re just starting out, you’re probably watching your budget. But there are some ways to keep costs down, and the benefits might just make it worth your while.
Today’s workout, “Abbreviations Overview,” centers on the information found in sections 10.1–10.10 of CMOS.
Chicago Style Workout 2, “Commas with Introductory Words and Phrases,” centers on sections 6.35–6.39 of CMOS. Advanced editors might tackle the exercises cold; learners can study the related sections of the Manual before answering the questions.
CMOS receives regular queries from readers asking whether greetings like “Hi, Elsa” really need that comma. Especially in e-mail messages, we hear, it looks fussy. And it takes so long to type!
For Freelance Editors: How to Set Fees. Anyone who has something to sell faces a dilemma when it comes to deciding on a price: ask too much and no one will buy; ask too little and you won’t earn enough money. In freelance editing, the second option carries an added danger: ask too little and you could be swamped with competing deadlines.
What do you resolve for 2016? Comments are open—feel free to share!
The Editor’s Toughest Challenge. In my view, the most regrettable copyediting disasters come in the form of errors introduced by the editor. Letting a writer’s original mistake survive is certainly cause for regret, but nothing’s worse than knowing that the work was correct until you messed it up!
A good rule of thumb is that changes to quotations are not permitted, period. So much is at stake when we present the words of someone else, whether spoken or written, and responsibility lies with the quoter to render what was said accurately and in a fair context. The actual wording of the quotation must be reproduced exactly. Yet CMOS 13.7 lists half a dozen things that are OK to change when quoting.